Ex-Trade Fair CEO Summoned Over Missing ¢300K Vouchers
The Public Accounts Committee of Parliament (PAC) has summoned a former Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Ghana Trade Fair Company (GTFC) Limited Dr. Ebenezer Erasmus Okpoti Koney over stolen vouchers.
He is to appear before the committee to explain the circumstances under which thieves allegedly broke into offices of the centre and stole payment vouchers totalling about ¢300,000.
He is to appear with a former accountant of the centre whose name was only given as Mr Brown in whose office the payment vouchers were allegedly stolen.
The Chairman of the PAC, James Avedzi, gave the order Tuesday when the current CEO of the company, Dr. Agnes Adu, appeared before the committee to respond to queries raised in the 2016 Auditor General’s report about the centre.
Dr. Adu indicated that during the auditing of the company in 2014, the auditors could not trace the payment vouchers amounting to GH¢300,000.
She said per the Auditor General’s report, the auditors were told that payment vouchers were stolen from the accountant’s office.
Unsatisfied with that explanation, Mr. Avedzi directed the clerk to the PAC to invite Mr. Okpoti Koney and Mr. Brown to appear before the committee to respond to the queries relating to the missing payment vouchers.
On the management of the company, Dr. Adu said the company was poorly managed for about a decade until she took over in April 2017.
She said the bad management resulted in the disconnection of electricity due to indebtedness and salary arrears for 18 months.
Dr. Adu said she had started transforming the company as she had cleared the electricity bills and restored power to the centre and paid all the 18 months salary arrears.
She said the GTFC had not filed annual tax returns since 1999, but she was working to right the wrongs.
But the committee members argued that the centre could not be said to be in a turn around mode since it was not making a profit while the structures were in a state of deterioration.
Touching on rents, Dr. Adu confirmed that the grounds at the GTFC had not seen any renovation since the building of the centre in 1967.
As a result, she said, the grounds were quite deteriorated, which it difficult to charge market rates.
“The Trade Fair was built in the 1960s and nothing had been done about the building”, she said.
Dr. Adu said three years ago, some tenants were paying 50 pesewas per square metre, while others were paying ¢2.
She said she had since increased the rent per a square metre to c4.
Dr Adu denied media reports that she was taking ¢200,000 as her salary, saying “absolutely not”, but did not mention how much she was taking.
She said the salary of the CEO of the GTFC was determined by the Board of the company, which was a public record.